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Sat Feb 14, 2015, 08:49 AM

Did the GOP Just Give Away $130 Billion of Public Property?

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Did-the-GOP-Just-Give-Away-by-Alan-Grayson-Copper_Mining_Property_Public-Lands-150213-773.html



The Tonto National Forest in Arizona

Did the GOP Just Give Away $130 Billion of Public Property?
By Alan Grayson
OpEdNews Op Eds 2/13/2015 at 12:57:08

In December, two Republican senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, pushed Congress and the President into giving away what could amount to over $130 billion in public property.

~snip~

I'm talking about the huge giveaway to the mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton in the Defense Authorization Act. It was splayed across 10 pages of the bill, pages 441 to 450 (out of 697).

Rio Tinto is a 142-year-old mining company headquartered in London with management offices in Melbourne, Australia. It has a market capitalization of $74-$87 billion. BHP Billiton is a 155-year-old mining company, also run out of Melbourne. It has a market capitalization of $124-$126 billion. Based on market value, they are the #1 and #2 largest mining companies in the world. Rather than actually competing against each other (no chance of that happening!), they joined hands. Rio Tinto owns 55 percent of a company called Resolution Copper Mining LLC, and BHP Billiton owns the remaining 45 percent. And thanks to the maneuvering of GOP senators McCain and Flake, the US government is handing over land with more than $130 billion in underground copper to Resolution Copper.


In a land-swap deal, the Defense Authorization Act took four square miles of Tonto National Forest -- public land in Pinal County, just outside Superior, Arizona -- and gave it to Resolution Copper, so that Resolution Copper can build a copper mine on the site. According to Resolution Copper's website, the copper resource under that land contains 1.6 billion metric tons of copper-rich ore, which itself contains 1.47 percent copper. (That's roughly 30 pounds of copper in every ton of ore.) So there are approximately 23.5 million tons of copper sitting under those four square miles of public property.

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply Did the GOP Just Give Away $130 Billion of Public Property? (Original post)
unhappycamper Feb 2015 OP
FBaggins Feb 2015 #1
brush Feb 2015 #3
marym625 Feb 2015 #4
Kali Feb 2015 #9
brush Feb 2015 #10
Kali Feb 2015 #11
brush Feb 2015 #12
Kali Feb 2015 #13
Scuba Feb 2015 #2
Stonepounder Feb 2015 #5
allan01 Feb 2015 #6
enough Feb 2015 #7
LineNew Reply ,
blkmusclmachine Feb 2015 #8

Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 09:06 AM

1. Nope

An estimate that there's a certain amount of some resource under a piece of property does not make the property worth that much... our even anywhere close.

Nor can we even say "gave away" unless the congressman can tell us how much the other property is worth.

This could be anything from a sweetheart deal to a perfectly acceptable transaction. The congressman didn't come close to giving us enough information to guess. He's on firmer footing when he discusses how the deal came to be and asks why there wasn't an auction.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 09:29 AM

3. One other thing . . .

I believe that land is on a Native American reservation so I doubt this is going to go as smoothly as McGrumpy and Flake think.

And why the hell is McCain still kissing corporate ass? He's been in the Senate for forever, living off the public dole really (and his rich wife), he should be thinking about doing something honorable for the people of his state and not about securing campaign donations for his next run.

God! Give it a rest already McCain and retire.

Maybe his wife can't stand him at home so he keeps running.

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Response to brush (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 09:35 PM

9. no it is not on any NA reservation

It is National Forest and the site is important to the Apache Tribe, but they are not "owners" in terms of current law.

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Response to Kali (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 15, 2015, 01:13 AM

10. Ok, that's good to know . . .

but the land being in a national forest doesn't make it any less egregious. I mean our national forests are fair game now in McGrumpy's mind to "give away" to a foreign corporation to make huge profits?

McCain is shameless. Wonder how he was approached to even propose such a thing — promised campaign funds, a secret Swiss or Cayman Island bank account, another house maybe to add to his collection?

I mean how do you even think it's a good idea to facilitate a foreign corporation gaining a huge swath of national forest land to make profits off of — and not even an American company?

McCain apparently has lost his soul in terms of working for the good of the people of his state and the country, or perhaps he sold it.



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Response to brush (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 09:23 PM

11. well, without going into the merits of this particular case

Forest and BLM lands have traditionally been managed for multiple use so it isn't unusual at all in the west. When the amount of private property is so miniscule in the state, most kinds of economic activities like mining have to either acquire or lease federal land in some way.

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Response to Kali (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 11:19 PM

12. But foreign corporations? nt

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Response to brush (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 11:41 PM

13. you bet

GrupoMexico owns Asarco now - they own 3 mines and a smelter in Arizona

http://www.azgs.az.gov/mining_industry.shtml

http://www.grupomexico.com/business-lines/asarco.php

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 09:26 AM

2. Yes, but that's what Republican do.

 

Giving public property (and tax dollars) to your campaign donors is the purist form of representative government. At least to Republicans.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 11:31 AM

5. Free speech at its finest.

You speak to me about campaign contributions and I speak to you about taking sacred indian land and letting you dig it up. Resolution Copper (the person) walked into McCain and Flake's offices and spoke ($$$$) about land. The Senators listened ($$$$) to Resolution Copper's (the person) concerns ($$$$$) and being the good Senators they were, moved to do something about it - gave them the land ($$$$).

Just our fine Congressmen listening and going about the people's business and representing their constituents. And because it is free speech, their 'constituents' don't even have to be voters. Or even citizens.

Isn't that what a 'representative form of government' is all about?

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 11:47 AM

6. this is what people get when they dont vote mid term or dont vote at all

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 12:01 PM

7. Note this is not a done deal.

another snip from Grayson's OpEd>

Not all is lost, however, or at least not yet. Reading through this ten-page travesty, I saw that there are three things that have to happen before Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton finally get away with this legislative larceny:

(1) The land happens to be an old Native American burial ground. Before things proceed, the secretary of agriculture and Resolution Copper have to find “mutually acceptable measures to address the concerns of the affected Indian tribes.” Maybe they won’t.

(2) The secretary of agriculture has to prepare an environmental impact statement “which shall be used as the basis for all decisions under Federal law related to the proposed mine.” Maybe the project won’t pass environmental muster.

(3) There’s a last resort if the deal isn’t blocked. As noted above, the secretary of agriculture and Resolution Copper, together, have to hire an appraiser who will appraise the value of the federal land, and if the land being given away is worth more than the land being received (which it certainly should, because the land being received is copper-less), then Resolution Copper should pay the full difference, with the value of the mineral rights taken into account.

Note to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack: I am begging you to make sure that the appraisal of that Tonto National Forest property fully reflects the copper in it, and I won’t be happy unless I see a figure in the tens of billions of dollars. Just this once, let’s stop this scheme to steal this valuable resource of the people, by the people and for the people away from us.

end of article>

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 06:46 PM

8. ,

 

,


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